Cartoonist sells his "crappy rejected" New Yorker submissions

For Christmas, I gifted myself with a New Yorker subscription. At the end of January, in my inbox zine, I wrote about becoming a little obsessed with the magazine's cartoon caption contest, and how I had shared the fun with my 15-year-old daughter. I then found myself searching and following all the New Yorker-published cartoonists I could find on Instagram.

That search led me to Brooklyn-based Drew Dernavich (and, boy, I sure am glad I found him!). On top of The New Yorker, he's been published in Time, the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review, and other well-known publications. He's also a graphic recorder, aka a "visual note-taker."

On February 6, he posted this photo. It shows the reality of his business as demonstrated by two piles of paper: his rejected cartoons and his accepted ones:

View this post on Instagram

Before I started submitting digital sketches to @newyorkermag a few years ago, I was doing them the old-school way: Sharpie on paper. But that takes up too much space, so I’m cleaning house. Here is the pile of ideas that got published vs. the ones that got rejected. And in multiple views so you can see the actual ratio. Cruel business, my friends. I’m still generating a lot of crappy rejected ideas, they’re just in digital form now!

A post shared by drewdernavich (@drewdernavich) on Feb 6, 2020 at 11:15am PST

He writes:

Before I started submitting digital sketches to @newyorkermag a few years ago, I was doing them the old-school way: Sharpie on paper.

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Jim Gaffigan captioning "New Yorker" cartoons

A couple of weeks ago, comedian Jim Gaffigan took a stab at writing cartoon captions for The New Yorker. Turns out he's really good at it, almost as good as 9-year-old Alice Kassnove.

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Watch: 9-year-old girl's one-liners for The New Yorker cartoon caption contest are all winners

In early April, Jimmy Kimmel Live and The New Yorker writer Bess Kalb tweeted some cartoon captions that her cousin's 9-year-old daughter, Alice Kassnove, had come up with. And the tweet went viral. Read the rest